February 3, 1919

On this day in 1919, Eamon de Valera escaped from Lincoln Prison in England. His escape was aided by fellow nationalists Harry Boland and Michael Collins. De Valera’s escape entailed a copy of the key which fit the locks of the jail. He also dressed up as a woman. Several other Sinn Fein members who had been arrested along with him on May 17, 1918 for allegedly taking part in the “German Plot,” also escaped Lincoln Gaol on this day. The German Plot centered on the spurious British accusation that the Irish had been plotting an uprising aided by the Germans, which would have distracted from wartime efforts abroad.

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